The David Vandyke trained Lamasery completed a long journey back to winning for at the highest level when taking out a hard fought $200,000, Group 2 WFA Bacardi Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Lamasery (red and white cap) gets his nose in front when it matters, picture sportpix.com.au
Lamasery, a multiple Group winner last spring, had time off to recover from arthritis in his joints and Vandyke doubted that the now six-year-old Commands gelding would ever return to top racing.
However in his third race back , and after a third place in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes over 1600m at Warwick Farm on September 8th, Lamasery defeated a good field to set up another attempt at the $400,000, Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6th.
Ginda Dude (NZ) and Jim Cassidy lead into the main straight followed by Mourayan (IRE) and High Bowman with Lamasery in fifth under Peter Robl.
Robl went wide off the turn outside Midas Touch (GB) and James McDonald. Inside were Mourayan and Lights Of Heaven (NZ) and Josh Parr who came forward as Ginda Dude faded.
Lamasery made steady progress drawing level with the leaders inside with 300m to run and then taking over with 200m to travel. Neither Mourayan nor Lights Of Heaven gave up in a tough fight to the line, but Lamasery was unrelenting in his run and took the honours by a long head.
Mourayan (Alhaarth) was second with Lights Of Heaven (Zabeel) third, the margin a half-length. Stout Hearted (GB) was fourth.
The time was 2.06.25 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in 35.22. Lamasery paid $3.50 on TAB.com.au as favourite.
“Once he got clear he sprinted quicker than the rest. He got a bit tired late but that's only his third run this prep and it was 2000 metres,” said Robl.
Vandyke confirmed The Metropolitan was the next target, a race he was third in last year.
“That's his next goal. He finished third in the race last year and didn’t have the best of luck,” he said.
“He's got a great turn of foot and he showed that today when he went from back along the fence to challenging for the lead while the others were still getting going,” he added.
Lamasery, picture sportpix.com.au
Lamasery is out of the Quest For Fame mare Verse and he races for Mr SP and Mrs MM Mayer. This was his 11th win from 21 starts and with five placings he has earned stakes of $608,750.